Texas Senate and Congress Maps
Flunk at Princeton as House Gets C
November 1, 2021
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate Republicans have received a distinction they may see as a badge of honor for their work on redistricting in special session last month.
The Senate and congressional maps that were conceived in the Texas Legislature's upper chamber this fall scored grades of F from the Gerrymandering Project at Princeton University.
House Speaker Dade Phelan and his GOP allies in the west wing of the state Capitol may not have as much to brag about - however - in light of an overall grade of C that the initiative at the prestigious school near New York City stamped on the map that they designed for themselves in third of three special sessions here in 2021.
The Princeton team gave the Texas House plan grades of C in partisan fairness and geographic features. "Slight Republican advantage. Advantage incumbents" according to the report card from the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. "Very uncompetitive relative to other maps that could have been drawn," the report on the House map said.
The PGP's assessment on the Texas Senate redistricting plan made the same notations. But the Senate map - despite the failing grade overall - garnered a C in the partisan fairness on the report card which gave it F for competitiveness and geographic features.
The U.S. House plan that GOP State Senator Joan Huffman authored flunked in partisan fairness and geographic features while landing a C for its level of competitiveness from the northeastern university that's perennially ranked among the top two colleges in America. The Princeton group declared the Texas congressional map to have a "significant Republican advantage" with "non-compact districts, more county splits than typical" with a notation that mirrored the geographical appraisal of the Senate map here.
The new House redistricting plan - according to the PGP - has "non-compact districts" but "few county splits" - a feature that might have been the difference between a passing and failing grade.
But the Princeton team didn't give the Texas maps bad grades simply because the Lone Star State has become the most hated and unpopular place in the USA. The Republicans are responsible for state's terrible reputation with a legislative agenda that included an attack on the constitutional right of women to have abortions and a voting restrictions measure that was based on tales of voter fraud that GOP leaders and lawmakers knew were blatant lies.
The Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave Oregon an F for its new map for Congress that was drawn to give Democrats and incumbents there "significant advantage."
Most of the states still have redistricting plans in the drafting process. The lion's share of the maps that were drawn by independent commissions like Arizona employs received grades of A.
more to come ...